Blog: Edible Manhattan's Good Dairy
To celebrate the release of their first ever ‘Dairy’ issue, the folks at Edible Manhattan took downtown’s Openhouse Gallery by storm, changing the sprawling event space into a showcase of some of the area’s finest local cheeses, milks, yogurts and the like. With the three hour event priced affordably at $25, it’s no surprise that the evening was sold out. Based on the large crowd in-house, finding ample space to get situated may have been a challenge, but filling up on some tasty samples from the likes of Murray’s Cheese, Momufuku Milk Bar, and The Vanderbilt was no problem for us.
Upon our arrival, the Gallery’s three sizable rooms were all mostly filled with hungry New Yorkers. Pacing the food samples, Good Dairy also included endless boozy drinks, with Brooklyn’s Kelso Beer Company on hand pouring their Nut Brown Lager and Pilsner, Hudson Whiskey, always a mainstay with prominent space at tasting events, handing out a special ‘milk punch,’ and Brooklyn Gin, serving cup after cup of their ‘Carbonated Collins’ drinks to wash down all of the tastings. Not to worry, cheese can’t be tasted without a little vino, and with three varietals from Wolffer Estate Vineyard being poured into plastic cups, the pairings began.
With enough to drink to lay us down for the count, some food was certainly in order and as such, we started in the back of the room and our anticipated visit to Momufuku Milk Bar for their assortment of milk bar cookies. Served with a creamy ‘cereal milk,’ the not-overly sweet bars were deliciously crunchy and would perhaps best be devoured as an after dinner course. Dipped into the tasty cereal milk, the softened bars were even more delectable, even eye catching when held up to the light to find droplets of the milk dripping off of the previously bitten edge. Oddly, we stuck with the dessert foods first before shifting to more traditional options. The Chocolate Room brought along scoops of their ‘Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream’- smooth spheres of icy melting goodness with the actual taste of a fresh sprig of mint and interwoven Belgian chocolate chunks. Each spoonful was more refreshing than the last and proved to be a veritable palette cleanser. The aforementioned Vanderbilt also delivered with their ’Chocolate Pudding Pops,’ an ice cold, chocolate frosted, thick ice cream popsicle, doused liberally in chunks of sea salt to mesh sugar and salty excellently.
With the sweet firmly behind us, it was time to nosh on some savory and as soon as we walked in, we were struck by a plate of three tastes courtesy of Brooklyn’s Valley Shepherd Creamery. Their fat free sheep’s milk ricotta topped with honey and served atop a sliced baguette was our favorite sample of the event and was our only repeat visit. The soft fluffy ricotta paired well with the subtle dollops of sticky honey and the small spoonful of sheep’s milk yogurt and triangle of cow’s milk cheese, rounded out the terrific plate of food. Then there was Lucy’s Whey, who always seems to bring their A-game to these tastings. Their ‘Across the Pond’ surely didn’t disappoint with a small crostini serving as the base for a washed rind, raw cow’s milk cheese, topped with minute pickles. The flavor yielded a nice sharp taste, with a relatively pleasant aftertaste. While cheese heads chewed on creamy, varied offerings from Saxelby Cheesemongers, Murray’s, and Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, STINKY BKLYN brought with them some cheeses from the UK and also their specialty grilled cheese sandwiches- cut into triangles and delicately toasted with both halves doused in butter and served perfectly.
Sometimes these types of food events can be exercises in gluttony- a race against fellow attendees from table to table before the lines get too long. But Edible Manhattan and Openhouse Gallery have seemed to stumble upon a medium, even when working events separately from each other, that works. Vendors rarely run out of food too early and lines typically remain minimal, leaving you to work on what’s really important- tasting at least one of each of the 19 different purveyors’ offerings. Your only excuse for not leaving Good Dairy completely satisfied is your lactose intolerance. And even then, pop a Lactaid and get back on line.
- Jane Van Arsdale